British Columbia leads Canada when it comes to embracing zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and the provincial government looks to keep it that way.
That’s the message was relayed by Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, as she announced on Tuesday that $26 million in new funding would be given out across the province for public charging stations.
“In 2022, EVs made up over 18 per cent of new light-duty passenger vehicles sold,” said Osborne. “The highest percentage for any province or territory in Canada.”
“This year, B.C. scored the highest of any province or territory in Electric Mobility Canada’s zero-emission vehicles scorecard.”
Osborne made the funding announcement in Maple Ridge, which she referred to as the new mile zero for B.C.’s Electric Highway.
“More charging stations means that we’re making EVs an easier choice for British Columbians and helping to reduce range anxiety,” said Osborne.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said that this $26 million in funding will help the government reach its goal of having 10,000 public EV charging stations in B.C. by 2030.
In the near future, 250 more public light-duty fast-charging stations will be constructed across B.C. with the new funding.
As ZEV sales rise in B.C., from 24,263 in 2021 to 30,004 in 2022, the need for these charging stations also increases, explained Osborne.
According to the government’s Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, 26 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales must be ZEV by 2026, 90 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2035.
“Once you have an electric vehicle, you still have to take care of it, so we’ve recently expanded the CleanBC go electric EV maintenance training program to more B.C. colleges,” said Osborne.
“So now, more automotive technicians can upgrade their skills and more British Columbians will have the confidence to make the switch knowing that their electric vehicles are being serviced by a qualified professional.”
Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy called the funding a timely announcement as council prepares for Thursday’s Climate Action Leadership Summit.
“We’re pleased here in Maple Ridge to have invested in our own EV and hybrid fleet vehicles and charging facilities throughout the city to support our residents who are making cleaner transportation choices and looking for low-cost charging options,” said Ruimy.
“We look forward to the expansion of our public EV charging infrastructure that this funding will support in our own local community.”
Harry Constantine, president of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, explained that this new funding will particularly help smaller communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“This stands to benefit all British Columbians, including remote communities,” said Constantine. “We are very pleased to see the province investing in these measures.”
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